AUBURN — Hoping to close learning gaps among kindergartners, schools in the Maine city of Auburn are giving iPads to the 5-year-olds who are just starting school.

Half of the kindergarten students at Washburn Elementary School are getting the computers this week, and the other half will get them in November. The Sun Journal in Lewiston says the staggered rollout will help educators compare how students learn with and without iPads.

School officials hope the data will attract grant money to pay for iPads in future years. The $240,000 for iPads this year came from last year’s school budget.

Teacher Jessica Prue says her class is lucky to get the iPads, and they are some of the only kindergartners anywhere that get to try them out at school.